Forthcoming Title: Hungarian Jews in the Age of Genocide. An Intellectual History, 1929-1948

F. Laczó: Hungarian Jews in the Age of Genocide

Laczó Ferenc

Leiden: Brill,
Expected Date: October 2016
ISBN 9789004324640

Hungarian Jews, the last major Jewish community in the Nazi sphere of influence by 1944, constituted the single largest group of victims of Auschwitz-Birkenau. In Hungarian Jews in the Age of Genocide, Ferenc Laczó draws on hundreds of scholarly articles, historical monographs, witness accounts as well as published memoirs to offer a pioneering exploration of how this prolific Jewish community responded to its exceptional drama and unprecedented tragedy. Analyzing identity options, political discourses, historical narratives and cultural agendas during the local age of persecution as well as the varied interpretations of persecution and annihilation in their immediate aftermath, the monograph places the devastating story of Hungarian Jews at the dark heart of the European Jewish experience in the 20th century.

See also: Research Fellow Publications


The Imre Kertész Kolleg invites applications for Fellowships for 2017 for periods of residence between three and twelve months. Applications are invited from noted and established scholars in the history of Central and Eastern Europe or neighboring disciplines such as sociology, anthropology, political sciences, philosophy, literary studies or linguistics relevant to the region.

Further information can be found in the section Vacancies

New Publication: Exhibiting Violence

edited by Joachim von Puttkamer and Dorothea Warneck

Przegląd Historyczny, T CVII, 2016, Z I., Warszawa 2016
156 pages
ISSN: 0033-2186
Price: 21,00 zl

The papers presented in this thematic volume address the limits of exibiting violence from different angles. Most of them originate from the workshop "Exhibiting Violence" that was organised by the Imre Kertész Kolleg Jena in late February 2014 and generously hosted by the Goethe Institute in Lille and the Historial de la Grande Guerre in Péronne, France. 
Bearing in mind that the First World War marked the beginning of a new form of exhibiting war and violence in museums and sparked broader discussions as to how to include and exhibit civilian suffering, the experience of total destruction as to how to include and exhibit civilian suffering, the experience of total destruction and widespread death, the central aim of this workshop was to discuss the origins of presenting violence and war in museums both in Western and East Central Europe during and directly after the First World War. 

Miejsce po Wielkiej Synagodze. Przekształcenia placu Bankowego po 1943 roku

© Zydowski Instytut Historyczny

Jana Fuchs

Translation: Tomasz Gabiś
Wydawnictwo Żydowskiego Instytutu Historycznego, Warszawa 2016
210 Seiten
ISBN 978-83-65254-08-5 

On May 16th 1943, SS-Gruppenführer Jürgen Stroop personally blew up the Great Synagogue of Warsaw as a symbol to the extermination of the Jews of Warsaw. Nearly fifty years later, in 1991, the so-called "Azure Skyscraper" was opened on the site of the Great Synagogue following construction that had begun at the Plac Bankowy in the 1960s. While the stark contrast between what stood on the site until World War II and what was built under state socialism mostly goes unnoticed for those passing through the busy Plac Bankowy on a daily basis, for the author the dissonance reverberates like a pregnant silence. All that remains to hint of the Great Synagogue is a small information plaque on the backside of the skyscraper, which reveals scant little about the former house of worship but speaks volumes about the meaning - or lack thereof - of the Synagague for the city of Warsaw in the years since its destruction. In "Miejsce po Wielkiej Synagodze. Przekształcenia placu Bankowego po 1943 roku", the author not only reconstructs the many different plans made for the use of the site of the Synagague since 1943 as part of the restructuring of the Plac Bankowy, she analyzes the different ways in which the former use of the site was forgotten or kept in silence that both preceded and accompanied the new planning and the building of the skyscraper that would eventually occupy the site.

Further information can be found in the section Research Fellow Publications

© Zydowski Instytut Historyczny

POLITYKA-Award for Best Source Edition in the field of the Contemporary Polish History

On 10 May 2016, Prof. Karolina Szymaniak was awarded a Polityka History Award for the Best Source Edition for her edition of Rachel Auerbach's writings from the ghetto.

The Imre Kertész Kolleg proudly congratulates Prof. Szymaniak on the award and her tremendous achievement!

From Prof. Borodziej's laudatory speech:

Karolina Szymaniak, in her own words, found herself facing a maze of texts, both published and unpublished, with words and sentences frequently crossed out, inserted or changed. "Subsequent drafts rose under Auerbach's fingers," like the dough in one of her dreams, "slipping out of control. In Auerbach's particular relationship to the texts, in these acts of constant repetition - of copying, printing these very same texts without being able to rewrite them entirely - one can also recognize signs of trauma." Karolina Szymaniak is addressing us here with practically British understatement. Auerbach's writings are in fact less a maze, than a cross between a jungle and the Tower of Babel. Hyperspectral scanning - I didn't realize such a thing existed - was only partially useful in uncovering earlier versions of the texts. It is only Szymaniak's painstaking editorial work, unsupported by technology, that has given us this extraordinary book, which may now - finally - find its way onto the bookshelves of classic works on the Holocaust.

Press release of Polityka magazine on the award can be found here: Nagrody Historyczne 2016 przyznane!  


Zum Tod von Imre Kertész

Foto: Peter Cott/FSU

Am 9. Juli 1997 sprach Imre Kertész an der Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena im Rahmen der Jenaer Poetik-Vorlesungen über „Das eigene Land."

Anlässlich seines Todes veröffentlicht das Kolleg den Text „Schicksallosigkeit als historische Perspektive. Imre Kertész und sein Blick auf das 20. Jahrhundert“ von Volkhard Knigge und Joachim von Puttkamer. Er erschien erstmals in Wlodzimierz Borodziej u. Joachim von Puttkamer (Hrsg.): Europa und sein Osten: Geschichtskulturelle Herausforderungen, München (Oldenbourg Verlag) 2012.

Zum Bericht über die Beerdigung in Budapest am 22. April 2016: Neue Züricher Zeitung Abschied von Imre Kertész in Budapest

New Website of the Cultures of History Forum

The content of the Cultures of History Forum has moved to its own website with new design and a range of new texts.